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4 Keys to Consider When It Comes to Podcast Partnerships

Posted by Caitlin Barry on October 6, 2021 at 10:30 AM

Podcast Partnerships Are the Future of Advertising

Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing mediums today, where brands have the fantastic opportunity to reach targeted and niche audiences. In this day and age where audiences generally ignore visual ads, bypass commercials on TV, and install digital ad-blockers, podcasts have the opposite effect. Why? Because listeners are loyal to their favorite podcasters. Podcasters are considered to be authentic and honest. That’s why 81% of podcast listeners say they always pay attention to podcast ads.

Podcasting partnerships are an excellent and effective medium to reach a captivated audience of millions. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares 4 essential keys to acknowledge for your brand when considering future podcast partnerships.


4 Keys To Consider When It Comes To Podcast Partnerships-1

Make Podcast Partnerships Work for You

You may be wondering if partnering with a podcast is the right idea for your brand. Our answer is a resounding YES! Podcasts pave the way to speak directly to your brand’s niche audience and turn listeners into potential customers. According to Podcast Insights, 69% of podcast listeners agree that podcast ads made them aware of new brands. And Midroll found that 72% of listeners who have listened to a podcast for four or more years have purchased something from a partner ad. Not a bad deal if you ask us. With more than 2,000,000 podcasts out there, it’s no wonder that podcasting has become a multimillion-dollar industry. To create a successful and engaging podcast partnership, brands must develop a strategic plan and consider these four important keys.


1. Finding Your Niche

As you can imagine, with the hundreds of thousands of active podcasts on the air, each individual podcast appeals to very specific audiences. Podcasts offer a wide range of topics from comedy, gaming, fitness, art, film, business, science, to the ever-so-popular true crime. It is almost guaranteed that there is a podcast for even the smallest of communities. Do you want to learn about the history of music? There is a podcast for that. Interested economics? There is a podcast for that. Popular television show Law & Order? There’s a podcast. Knitting? Podcast.

There is a podcast out there for everyone. Your goal should be to find the podcast that aligns with your demographics. For example, if you are trying to target female fitness enthusiasts aged 19-34, search for podcasts with similarly targeted demographics. First, you should know your target audience and understand what they want, their likes and dislikes, and why they would be attracted to your brand. Next, you should take into consideration the context of the show in alignment with your brand. It would feel out of place listening to a gaming podcast and then hearing an advertisement about medical equipment, right? Best not to follow that example. Instead, ask, “What do both audiences care about?” and search for podcasts where you think your content will sound appropriate.

Podcast demographic listener


2. Determine the Podcast Size

The size of a podcast can determine how much your brand spends on a podcast partnership. In this case, size doesn’t mean the amount of digital space it takes up, but instead the number of listeners. Advertising rates are determined by audience numbers and how many downloads each episode receives on average in a month. This is measured by CPM, which means cost per mile or cost per 1,000 listeners. According to AdvertiseCast, the industry average podcast advertising rates range between $18 for a 30-second Ad CPM and $25 60-second Ad CPM. Those rates may not seem like much compared to print and television advertising rates, but those CPMs can add up quickly. Popular podcasts like The "Joe Rogan Experience" and "My Favorite Murder" number of listeners can range in the millions. That’s a lot of advertising spending.

Podcast partnership ad recording

Of course, your brand wants to reach the widest audience it can, but it is not always financially viable to partner with the more prominent podcasts. That is why it is essential to think about your podcast partnership budget strategy. If you have a smaller budget, consider selecting smaller podcasts instead of one larger podcast. This way you can reach multiple audiences and increase the chances of ROI.

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3. Identify What You Can Offer the Audience

Podcast partnerships don’t only mean the partnership between a brand and podcasters; there’s a partnership with the audience too. When tailoring your ads to the brand’s demographic, be sure to include an offer that entices the listeners. The current industry standard seems to have podcast partners offer discount codes, free trials, and giveaways to motivate audiences to engage with the brand. This is your chance to get creative! Offering these incentives not only helps engage the audience and makes your brand stand out, but they also provide an opportunity to track campaign successes. Podsights is an excellent resource for tracking data for podcast partnership campaigns.

Podcast recording set up


4. Type of Ad

Now the fun part—creating the ad! There are two standard types of podcast advertisements:

  • Scripted

Scripted sounds exactly like it is. Your brand writes a short ad that promotes your product, offers an incentive, and catches the attention of the listener. The podcast host will read the script verbatim as it is on the page.

  • Off the Cuff

Instead of scripted content, hosts may have a set of key talking points where they have the opportunity to speak off the cuff and add their own thoughts.

Both types of ads are great options; you really couldn’t go wrong with either one. Scripted content is more formal, while ad-libbed content is more casual (although it can come across as more honest).

In addition to the type of ad, you’ll have to think about where you want the ad placed in the podcast. There are three different options:

  • Pre-roll

Generally, a 15-30 second blurb prior to the podcast’s content. 

  • Mid-roll

Close to the halfway point in a podcast, the hosts will read or ad-lib a 60-second ad for a brand.

  • Post-roll

After a podcast has concluded, a 15-30 second ad is promoted.

Each of these placements will most likely have different price points, generally, so that is important to keep in mind when it comes to planning.

Podcast partnership scripted ad recording


Want to See These Keys In Action?

A blogger for Arhefs, an industry-leading SEO toolset, documented her experience with podcast partnerships and what she learned along the way that could have saved the brand time and money. Arhefs first identified their target audience and found five marketing podcasts that aligned with their brand. At first, all seemed well, but the brand wasn’t getting the leads it wanted. They didn’t think about the other keys. So, it was back to the drawing board! They created trackable incentives, contacted both small and large podcasts to discuss budget, and wrote ads for both scripted and ad-libbed content. By applying these keys, their ROI jumped by 21%!


Eager to Learn More about Podcasting?

There are literally millions of podcasts out there, and your brand only needs to find a few to start reaching new and exciting audiences. Interested in learning more about podcasts and podcast partnerships? Check out some other Hollywood Branded blog posts about the subject. 

Want to become a marketing pro? Subscribe to Hollywood Branded's very own podcast "Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)" to learn about the tricks of the trade! 

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Topics: Strategic Partnerships, Hollywood Branded, Podcast